So I’ve had a few people ask when the next Barnes Brother book will be out. I don’t have a date, but I do have news.
Some of it is good. There will be another title.
Some of it is…well…eh. Decide for yourself.
The next title will be Ruined, Sebestien’s story. No release date yet. For those who enjoy reading the series in ebook, hey…cool! You’re all good.
Sadly…for those who enjoy it in print, well…um.
It won’t be available in print. Probably not at all. My print sales from Berkley are dropping pretty steadily. They aren’t willing to put it in print. It’s going to release from their digital imprint. It will be at a lower price, so that’s good, right?
Hopefully, it will do well enough that I’ll be able to wrap up the series and write Travis’ book. If not, well. I dunno.
Here’s a short snippet of the story…
The low, monotonous beeping was annoying the fuck out of him.
It was almost as bad as the pain jabbing into his side.
It was even worse than whatever the hell that weird smell was.
It was almost like a…
His eyes flew open.
Brilliant white met him and he squinted.
“Hey, sunshine. Welcome back.”
The sound of his oldest brother’s voice had him groaning. Bright lights, Zane, headache. Had he gotten drunk? Was he hungover?
“Mom?” he whispered. Or tried. His throat was so dry, he didn’t get a thing out. Clearing his throat, he tried again, but the pathetic whisper was so soft, he barely heard it.
“Yes, honey. I’m here.” A hand slid into his. “We’re all here.”
“Who’s we?” he said. “Where’s here?”
He tried to look around and realize he could only see with his right eye. Something covered the entire left side of his face. “What the…” he reached up, the movement uncoordinated and stiff. He’d barely touched the covering when Zane caught his hand. “Hold up, kid, okay? You’ve gotta leave the bandage alone.”
He stilled. “Bandage?”
Zane’s face went taut.
Fear fluttered inside him. He looked around, understanding dawning. He was in the hospital.
“What’s going on?” he asked, forced to crane his head awkward so he could see everybody in the room. All of his brothers, his sister-in-law Abby along with the two soon to be sisters-in-law Keelie and Ressa, his parents…and Marin. Instinctively, he looked away from Marin. Since she seemed to be doing the same, he didn’t see the problem there.
“What’s going on?” he shouted.
“Baby, it’s going to be okay,” his mother said, her voice gentle.
He slammed his fist down. She stilled.
Immediately, he regretted, and not just because it sent pain arcing through his side.
At Zach’s voice, he looked away from his mother’s averted face.
“You were out having dinner—you’d been with Monica,” his brother said in a low voice. Low—intense. “Do you remember?”
“Monica…” Closing his eyes, he struggled to do just that. Remember. “She was going to kiss me.”
Clouds half hid the memory but as he focused, they started to lift. “I…I didn’t really much care if she did. Crazy…as much as I missed her. I thought I’d do almost anything to get her back.”
“Do you remember what happened next?” Zach asked tautly.
Sebastien swept his gaze to his brother.
Pain sliced through him—his face, his side—as memory sharpened. Clarified.
“Hanson,” he rasped.
Clutching one hand in the sheets, he said, “Monica. Is she…Did he…”
“She’s fine.” Abby moved forward and covered his fisted hand. “He didn’t hurt her, honey. She’s fine.”
He sucked in a breath. “Good. Good. So…everything’s okay, then, right? I mean, I’ll heal up and…”
The awkward silence had his stomach tilting sideways, like he’d developed his very own Tilt A Whirl right inside his gut.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Hanson…” Zach looked away, his shoulders tight. “Hanson’s dead. And…”
Sebastien went cold.
Slowly, he flung his legs over the side of the bed.
When his father moved to his side, he waved him away.
Something jabbed in his arm and he scowled, staring at the IV tubing. With deliberate thoroughness, he peeled back the tape and pulled out the needle, ignoring his parents and his brothers.
Blood dripped out as he rose and moved over to the mirror hanging over the sink.
A heavy bandage covered the left side of face, from the just under his hairline, down to the jawbone, a bizarre Phantom of the Opera—just no eyehole. He reached up and started to peel the tape away.
“Damn it, Sebastien, you’re bleeding all over the place and you’re going to rip the stitches out,” Zach snarled at him, moving up to grab his hands.
It was Zane who stopped him.
Zane who came up and helped with the tape.
Zane who took the discarded bandages and who used them to make a temporary one for the bloody place on his arm where the IV had been.
And Zane was the one standing there when Sebastien force himself to look at his face.
The scar ran from his forehead, just above the eyebrow, in jagged line, all the way down until it stopped about an inch away from the corner of his mouth. His eye was taped shut and when he tried to open it, instinctively, it hurt like a motherfucker.
Numbness settled inside him.
He would scar.
He didn’t even have to ask.
He would scar, period.
Turning away from the mirror, he looked at his family, from one brother to another and then at his parents.
“We need to get your arm looked at, Seb,” Zane said softly.
Sebastien looked down at it almost absently. What the fuck did his arm matter? He pulled away the wadded up bandage and immediately, blood started to well up, forming a fat bead before it started to roll down his forearm once more.
A soft sound caught his attention and he looked up, met Marin’s gaze.
She sucked in a soft breath and he looked away.
He was fucking ruined.
For those who haven’t read the series and would like to, you can check out the other books in the series. Click on the cover to read more!